Although this is from a few days ago, I'm posting this basically because I am mightily confused about this new phase in Jennifer's career. She's been trying, in the past few years to get away from her Rachel-like acting (and roles), starting with Horrible Bosses and We're the Millers, and then going into Life of Crime, She's Funny That Way, and Cake.
So far, I suppose you could say that she started out strong (with Horrible Bosses, We're The Millers were commercially successful), but she hasn't had a good couple of months. Life of Crime went straight to VOD, and only made a little over a quarter of million dollars, on a twelve million dollar budget. Not good. Not even middling.
She's Funny That Way had premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August 29th of this year. I hadn't even heard of it. Didn't even know it was coming out. A quick google tells me that there is no trailer. And no release date for the US.
Now it seems that Cake is going that same way. There was a lot of initial buzz, Oscar buzz for Jennifer. Which, let her have that. Tons of other movies, other performances have had Oscar buzz before the film hit theaters. I've read in a few recent articles about Cake that there are a few interested buyers for the film--but no one's bought the film yet. It doesn't have a trailer out yet--only one clip with Jennifer Aniston and Adrianna Barraza.
All in all, I'd say that Jennifer is lucky that she has Horrible Bosses II coming out, even though her role is (as I understand it) little more than a cameo. She's in three scenes, or so the rumor mill says. But what is she going to do next? Because this is bad. Seriously. I don't think Jennifer can act, but I never thought that her career would sink this low.
Yes, she's getting some good reviews--which is fairly typical when she steps out of her comfort zone and puts down the mascara for a scene or two. She's stepping out of her comfort zone. That's good. But it's not working. I don't think I've ever seen a celeb as recognizable as Jennifer Aniston have this much issue finding a distributor for her movie. And not with one, but two movies. Three, if no one buys She's Funny That Way.
It doesn't matter how good the reviews are--these films aren't even getting picked up by a studio.
As a sidenote, it was especially odd that she was the only one who was really promoting it (Life of Crime). Tim Robbins, Isla Fischer, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def, quit changing your name!), John Hawkes were nowhere to be seen during the recent promotions of the film (as in the red carpets). Did they think the movie was that bad? Did they not have time to go to the red carpet premiere of their movie? Whatever it was, it's not a good sign.
All I'm wondering is how fast is it going to take Jennifer to hightail it back to the romcoms/raunchy comedies that she's been doing? If you ask me, she needs to sink her money into producing and directing. Taking a quick look at her IMDb page, she's produced three of her own films (Management, The Switch, Cake). She needs to step it up.
Take some serious advice from someone who knows what they're talking about (in producing), because God knows Kristin Hahn doesn't do anything for her. As evidenced by the quotes she gave in Jennifer's Vanity Fair and Vogue interviews, Hahn and Jennifer must spend their producing time slot slurping margaritas and talking trash all day, instead of actually figuring out which film Jennifer wants to produce next, with her producing company.
Jennifer needs to set up a lunch date with Susan Downey. Call Shonda Rimes.
But do something.
Update: Just read on Deadline that Cake i.e. Jennifer Aniston is on Oscar watch. I'm just wondering what the qualifications are for the author's opinion. He liked the film. He liked Jennifer in the film. Great. But how in the world does a half way decent performance in a non-comedy/romcom translate into an Oscar nomination?
That's what I see, more and more. That every time Jennifer does something 'different' (for her) she is always praised to the high heavens. And, as I said before, it's the same with Life of Crime. I've been hearing that everyone enjoyed it. But it didn't even get picked up by a distributor AND it barely made any money. And that film had legitimate stars in it (besides Jennifer).
The author says that after the September 8th, 2014 premiere, there was a lot of interest in buying the film. It's the 22nd. Obviously these buyers aren't all that interested in the film. Because if they were, if the film really was a diamond in the rough just waiting to be plucked out from obscurity (for a rather low price, I'm assuming) and into the coming awards season, it would have already been done.
Let's face it. There's some interest. Not enough interest to buy it. Meaning it's a 'meh' movie with a 'meh' performance (I was rather suspicious of the quality of the film when I read that that plank, Sam Worthington was involved)--nothing more. Nothing like Paul Bettany's Shelter, which the author talked about right after that saying that if this film doesn't get picked it up, it would be because this is Jennifer Connelly's riskiest performance since Requiem For A Dream. THAT'S saying something.
Wow. According to EW, Angelina Jolie has just signed on to direct a biopic, Africa, which tells the story of a (white) Kenyan Richard Leakey. He was a man who protested and fought against elephant poachers in the '80s and '90s. It is written by Eric Roth, and is backed by Skydance Productions.
I am loving this new phase in Angelina's career. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE her onscreen. She always stands out on screen for me. Even if the movie is horrible--Alexander--she is almost always the best person in the movie. But she's now a woman who is making a second career in directing and producing.
To be even more blunt, she's a woman who isn't relying on her looks or fame to keep her career going. She realizes that she needs to push her career further and further--that she can't just keep doing the same old, same old. She realizes that there is new talent coming, and that no, she won't always be the person who every director/producer in town is running to. No one is.
And the best part is that she's doing something that will open more and more doors for women to be taken seriously by producers and studios in Hollywood. We need more representation of female director and producers. Right now, it's Angelina, Megan Ellison, Susan Downey, and Kathryn Bigelow.
And I love that she's picking interesting projects with some kind of meaning to her. So I can't wait. I can't wait for Unbroken, or By The Sea.